State News
2:58 pm
Mon October 29, 2012

Florida Negotiating With BP About Oil Spill Restoration Projects

Florida is still in the early planning stages of its restoration process following the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The state has gotten approval for two projects already and is negotiating with the BP oil company to get funding for more.In Santa Rosa Beach on Monday, the Florida Commission on Oil Spill Response Coordination heard a progress report about restoration. Lee Edmiston, of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, said, so far, Escambia County has received money to build boat ramps and restore sand dunes. And Florida and four other Gulf Coast states, as well as the Department of the Interior and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, continue meeting with BP every couple of weeks to get more projects approved.

“When you get seven states and a large corporation together, nothing moves very fast," Edmiston said.

He said, any projects that are approved will then be put out for public review and comment before they’re completed. Types of projects that the money can be used for include building fishing piers and acquiring new nature preserves.

The commission will eventually present its recommendations for a restoration plan to the Florida Legislature and Gov. Scott.

Note: An earlier version of this story said there were seven Gulf Coast states, instead of five. Florida is working with six other trustees, including Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, the U.S. Department of the Interior and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Edmiston refers to the trustees as "seven states" in his quote.